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Roosevelt University Sustainable Community

For five years, Roosevelt has undergone a green metamorphosis across campuses and departments. Two LEED-certified buildings have been constructed, the Sustainability Studies program graduated its first class, much of Schaumburg’s campus has been converted to sustainable prairie, food and packaging are recycled and used to improve the campus gardens, and food that’s grown on campus is served here.

Today, sustainability is woven into the fabric of Roosevelt University, flourishing through contributions across schools and disciplines. Staff, faculty, students and volunteers work together to bring the University’s sustainable vision and mission to life.

Roosevelt University Sustainability Professionals

Paul Matthews

Paul J. Matthews
Assistant Vice President, Campus Planning & Operations

Paul J. Matthews is a key driver, leader in Environmental Sustainability at Roosevelt University. Recently serving on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council through 2011, Matthews currently is co-chair of the USGBC-IL Green Schools Higher Education subcommittee.

Since arriving in 2010, Matthews completed three major capital projects: construction of the 32-story USGBC Gold Wabash “vertical” campus, USGBC Silver Goodman Center Field House, and renovation of College of Pharmacy which is featured in the American School & University (AS&U) Interiors Portfolio for outstanding design. Currently under Paul’s direction is a 22-acre sustainable landscape renovation in Schaumburg, including prairie restoration, pervious paving, rain gardens and a community vegetable garden.

Matthews holds a Master’s degree in Public Management from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Ohio State University. Commissioned as an officer in the USMC, Matthews served for twenty-four years, retiring in 1996 as a Major.

Professor Mike Bryson

Michael A. Bryson
Director and co-founder Sustainability Studies program
Associate Professor of Humanities and Sustainability Studies

Michael A. Bryson is a visionary director and co-founder in 2010 of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies program, the first of its kind in the Chicago region. He is also a key leader of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Initiative. Bryson is actively engaged in teaching interdisciplinary programs and specializes in designing field study opportunities for his students. An active scholar, writer and mentor, Bryson has published the well-reviewed book, Visions of the Land: Science, Literature, and the American Environment from the Era of Exploration to the Age of Ecology (University of Virginia Press, 2002).

Dr. Bryson received his BA in biology and English (1990) at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL; and his PhD in English (1995) State University of New York at Stony Brook (now Stony Brook University) on Long Island.

Mary Beth Radeck

Mary Beth Radeck
Sustainability Associate

Mary Beth Radeck is the chief Sustainability writer and rooftop garden manager for the Office of Environmental Sustainability and a Sustainability Studies major in Chicago. Working out of Roosevelt’s Wabash campus this year, Radeck proposed and is spearheading development of a collaborative, University-wide Sustainability Plan.

Radeck is not only a Sustainability undergraduate, her background includes a Landscape Design certification from Northwestern University and 30 years as a marketing professional across all media and disciplines. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and consults with organizations on sustainability marketing through her company, mb:inc.

Mary Rasic

Mary Rasic
Sustainability Associate

Mary Rasic serves as a Sustainability Associate at RU’s Schaumburg campus. Mary has over ten years of professional experience and an interdisciplinary understanding of environmental science and human health.

At RU, Mary is in the process of applying for arboretum accreditation for the Schaumburg campus through the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. Furthermore, she is coordinating the design and development of a permaculture food forest and assists with managing the RUrbanPioneers Community Garden and Prairie Walk.

Mary Rasic is a senior in the Sustainability Studies program at Roosevelt University and plans to graduate in May 2015 with a BPS in Sustainability Studies. She plans to reinvest her growing knowledge by encouraging sustainable practices and reconnecting community members to nature, ecology, and local, organic food. She is a member of the Environmental Sustainability Committee at Roosevelt, AASHE and USGBC as well. Off campus, Mary is an Assistant Property Manager for a commercial real estate company.


Rebecca Quesnell- "Beeka"
Sustainability Associate

Rebecca Quesnell is a Sustainability Associates for Roosevelt University. In Spring 2014, she managed the rooftop garden atop the Wabash building on the 5th floor, planting seeds for harvest in the summer.

Rebecca has always wanted to be directly involved in the ongoing environmental crisis. This summer she has interned at the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS) in Appalachia, Virginia. There, she took part in a couple of small, civil protests against mountain-top removal and pulled a lot of permit documentation from the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) in order to help the process of holding both the DMME and coal companies accountable for such things as reclamation. Towards the end of her internship she primarily focused on finding grants for SAMS.

She is majoring in Sustainability Studies while minoring in Psychology and will be graduating with her Bachelor’s in Spring, 2015. She is a member of Rise, a group of student activists organizing within and outside Roosevelt University around both environmental and social justice issues.

Kevin Markowski

Kevin Markowski
Sustainability Associate

Kevin Markowski is a Sustainability Associate at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus. Working under the direction of Paul Matthews, he has left an enduring impression on the RUrbanPioneers Community Garden.

Kevin manages the community garden and prairie walk, educates staff, students, and community members.

This summer, Kevin supervised the installation of a solar powered, automated drip irrigation system in the garden. This system reduces the use of Lake Michigan water to irrigate, enhances food security and reduces carbon emissions by reducing vehicle miles traveled by gardeners.

Kevin employs CAD drawings and related software to creatively develop new systems and his technical knowledge enables him to make existing things work more effectively. He is the designer of efficient lighting plans and layouts and oversees the energy usage update for Roosevelt University’s buildings in Chicago and Schaumburg including the historical Auditorium building and the newly constructed LEED certified Wabash Building.

Kevin possesses a strong analytical aptitude and a desire to combine his construction background with sustainable ideologies as a means to promote sustainable building practices. Additionally, his affiliations with energy suppliers position him to promote affordable green energy certificates.

Kevin Markowski recently graduated from Roosevelt University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.